Fun Fact: The Star Spangled Banner Was Sewn In This County

Mary Young Pickersgill of Baltimore sewed the most famous flag in American history during the summer of 1813. Maj. George Armistead commissioned the flag that was hoisted at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. He wanted a flag so large that the British would have no trouble seeing it from a great distance. The original Star Spangled Banner had fifteen stripes and fifteen stars and was 30 feet by…

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Fun Fact: This County Has Lavender Fields Forever

The fields of Frederick County are in full bloom with 2,600 lavender plants. The annual lavender festival at Springfield Manor in Thurmont is coming up on June 11 and 12, 2022. They grow 2,600 plants of both English and French varieties. The English varieties bloom twice a year in June and September, with the peak period being mid-June during the festival. Blooming in July, the French varieties are longer stemmed and include the most fragrant,…

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Fun Fact: This County Has the Largest Locomotive

The world’s largest Mallet, or steam-powered locomotive, in operation was placed into service last week in Allegany County. Maryland Thunder will be part of a regular rotation for the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s (WMSR) 16-mile excursion from Cumberland to the Frostburg Depot. It was constructed in 1949 by Baldwin Locomotive Works and was built to handle the heaviest coal trains until it was retired in 1956. The 643,100-pound engine was stored at the B&O Museum…

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Fun Fact: This County Landmark Opens to Public For the First Time in Forever

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located in Montgomery County is open to the public for the first time in over forty years. The Washington D.C. area Mormon temple was the first temple built in the Eastern United States (and in Maryland). Symbolism abounds in every detail of the temple’s architecture. There are seven floors, representing the six days of creation and the day of rest. The 6 gold-spired temple (a well-known landmark…

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Fun Fact: County Celebrity Spotting

A TV series based on Laura Lippman’s novel “Lady in the Lake” is set to begin filming in Baltimore City next week. New York Times bestselling novelist Laura Lippman was born in Atlanta, Georgia but raised in Columbia, Maryland. Her novel, "Lady in the Lake," is set in 1960s Baltimore, so it is only appropriate that it will be filmed there. The series will star well-known actresses Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’o. The TV series…

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Fun Fact: Relive a Washington Expedition in This County

President George Washington has history in just about every county in Maryland, but did you know you can walk in his footsteps in Allegany County? It’s true! On the George Washington Trail 1753, retrace the steps of Washington’s first military and diplomatic venture to Pittsburgh, PA, through Allegany County. The mission? To deliver a diplomatic message to the French from the Virginia Governor ordering them to evacuate what is present day western Pennsylvania and eastern…

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Fun Fact: The Maryland State House is 250!

This week, Governor Hogan issued a proclamation officially recognizing March 28, 2022, as the 250th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the Maryland State House. The State House is the oldest state capitol still in continuous legislative use and is the only state house ever to have served as the nation’s capital. The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784. During that time, George…

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Fun Fact: Maryland Day Is March 25!

The first settlers in the state of Maryland landed at St. Clement’s Island on March 25, 1634. The anniversary of the landing is marked by Maryland Day, which takes place each year on or near the date of the colonists’ arrival. To celebrate Maryland Day 2022, several museums and landmark sites around the state will offer free admission during the weekend of March 25-27. In St. Mary’s County, take a water taxi ride and visit…

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Fun Fact: The Luck of the Irish in Texas, Maryland  

The village of Texas, once located in Baltimore County, was settled in the mid-19th century by Irish and other immigrants who worked in the local limestone and marble quarries. In 1847, thousands of Irish immigrants arrived in Baltimore City looking to escape the Great Hunger, also known as the Potato Famine. At the same time, the completion of the Baltimore and Susquehanna railroad provided a more efficient means of transporting high quality limestone and marble…

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Fun Fact: The Ritchie Boys – Masters of Military Intelligence

The Ritchie Boys were a secret American intelligence unit who fought in World War II. They took their name from the place they trained. Camp Ritchie is in Washington County, MD. Most of the Ritchie Boys were German-born Jews who had fled their homeland at the start of the war (many leaving their entire family behind). After arriving in America, they joined the U.S. Army. Many of these German-speaking immigrants were used primarily for interrogation…

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